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2020 Screen Music Award winners announced

Media Published Tuesday 1 December 2020

For the first time in its history, the 2020 Screen Music Awards was held as a virtual event to celebrate the Australian creators of the most evocative and impactful screen music moments of the previous year.

The prestigious Feature Film Score of the Year category was taken out by Jed Kurzel for True History of the Kelly Gang, a film directed by his equally talented brother Justin Kurzel. Based on Peter Carey's novel, the film is a highly fictionalised account of the life of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang as they flee from authorities during the 1870s. Jed has won Feature Film Score of the Year twice previously for Snowtown and Slow West. He also won the Overseas Recognition Award at the inaugural Global APRA Music Awards in London in March of this year.

First-time nominee Antonio Gambale is now a dual, first-time Screen Music Awards winner. He received the gong in the categories of Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie and Best Television Theme for the Netflix smash hit series Unorthodox, inspired by Deborah Feldman's 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots - the first series of its kind to be primarily in Yiddish.

Amanda Brown has won Best Music for a TV Series for Australian psychological drama The Secrets She Keeps, the Network Ten series based on the novel of the same name by Michael Robotham. An imaginative screen composer, Amanda intuitively connects the emotion of a scene with her lyrical and heartfelt music. Amanda has been nominated for 9 Screen Music Awards since her first in 2004.

The Best Original Song Composed for the Screen goes to David Bridie and co-writer Tom Murray for Ballad of the Bridge Builders. Thesong, performed by Archie Roach, is from the film The Skin of Others, a story of modern Australia told through the extraordinary life of Aboriginal WW1 soldier Douglas Grant (c.1885-1951). David Bridie's first Screen Music Award was in 2005 and in 2019, he took out the category of Best Music for a Documentary.

Grammy Award winning producer and screen composer François Tétaz has taken out the title of Best Soundtrack Album for Australian feature film Judy & Punch. The film’s score was nominated in 2019 for Feature Film Score of the Year and also won Best Original Score at the 2019 AACTA Awards.

First time nominees Ned Beckley and Josh Hogan have won Best Music for Children’s Television for Thalu, the five-part ABC Me series. Thalu focuses on a group of Indigenous children who undertake a journey to save their country from the threat of a mysterious dust cloud and its inhabitants, the Takers, and is an ode to the Pilbara region in Western Australia.

Regarded as one of Australia’s foremost practitioners of contemporary classical music, Luke Howard has received Best Music for a Short Film for The Sand That Ate The Sea, a project documenting the land, community, and mysticism of Andamooka, an opal-mining town in South Australia. Luke’s minimalist music and director Matthew Thorne’s visuals present a snapshot of the heat of the Australian outback and its communities pending an incoming storm.

Matteo Zingales, one of Australia’s most in-demand and awarded composers has created the Best Music for a Documentary for Machine, a film about Artificial Intelligence – the most radical new technology of our time. Matteo provides the musical accompaniment in Machine, which featuresworld-renowned experts, the people who are creating, researching and controlling this new technology. This is Matteo's fifth Screen Music Award since his first win in 2011.

Winning his first ever Screen Music Award is composer Scott Langley in the Best Music for an Advertisement category.

Washington DC’s Georgetown Optician: Eyes Say More Than Words advertisement is set in the “Quietest Library on Earth” and focuses on a tyrannical “Quiet Guard” who punishes patrons for the slightest sound.

Long-time composing duo Adam Gock and Dinesh Wicks have taken out Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia for the seventh time. Adam and Dinesh collaborate under the moniker The DA's Office and have worked on projects such as MasterChef, The Biggest Loser, LEGO Masters and Gogglebox.

Hugely successful screen composer Neil Sutherland has received the award for Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas for a record-breaking 13th consecutive year! Neil’s significant body of work includes Border Security, MythBusters, Dancing with the Stars, Getaway and Bondi Vet.

Trailblazing screen composer Nerida Tyson-Chew received Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen, an honour determined by the APRA Board of Directors. Nerida is a part of screen music history as one of the first female composers to score on productions in the U.S.

The 2020 Screen Music Awards were hosted by delightful trio Justine Clarke, Meyne Wyatt and Claudia Karvan. Musical Director Jessica Wellsled an orchestra that performed each of the nominated Feature Film Score of the Year compositions. The orchestra was joined by actress, singer and playwright Ursula Yovich for a performance of David Bridie and Tom Murray’s award-winning song Ballad of the Bridge Builders. The orchestra closed the show with a special tribute to Distinguished Services recipient Nerida Tyson-Chew.

APRA AMCOS and the AGSC congratulation all the winners of the 2020 Screen Music Awards.

2020 Screen Music Awards Winners

Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen

Nerida Tyson-Chew

Feature Film Score of the Year

Title: True History of the Kelly Gang
Composed by Jed Kurzel
Published by G Schirmer Australia obo Chester Music

Best Music for a Documentary

Title: Machine
Composed by Matteo Zingales
Published by Sonar Music

Best Music for a Short Film

Title: The Sand That Ate The Sea
Composed by Luke Howard
Published by Secretly Canadian Publishing

Best Soundtrack Album

Title: Judy & Punch
Composed by François Tétaz
Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Best Original Song Composed for the Screen

Title: Ballad of the Bridge Builders from The Skin of Others
Composed by David Bridie*/Tom Murray
Published by Mushroom Music*

Best Music for Children’s Television

Title: Thalu
Composed by Ned Beckley/Josh Hogan

Best Television Theme

Title: Unorthodox
Composed by Antonio Gambale
Published by BMG Rights Management obo Maisie Anthems

Best Music for a Television Series or Serial

Title: The Secrets She Keeps
Composed by Amanda Brown
Published by Kobalt Music Publishing obo Lillipilli IP

Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie

Title: Unorthodox
Composed by Antonio Gambale
Published by BMG Rights Management obo Maisie Anthems

Best Music for an Advertisement

Title: Georgetown Optician: Eyes Say More Than Words
Composed by Scott Langley
Published by Squeak E. Clean Studios

Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia

Adam Gock and Dinesh Wick

Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas

Neil Sutherland